Mary Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids in a row.
I’m sure most everyone can recall the first line of this childhood rhyme, especially anyone with the given first name of Mary!
As a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I had no knowledge of where, when, or how this seemingly innocent nursery rhyme came to be. But nevertheless, my intuition told me this rhyme was written about someone also by the name of Mary I did not want to be associated with it. A Mary with less than a flourishing garden of good will.
Every time I heard this rhyme sung, especially when I entered kindergarten where children were encouraged to sing nursery rhymes while in the classroom or on the playground, this rhyme always made me feel cranky and uneasy.
As soon as I heard the first four words ‘Mary Mary quite contrary,’ my disposition immediately changed from being calm and happy to becoming annoyed. And the more I heard it sung, the more I felt as though I was being labeled as someone that wasn’t so nice, someone who had an empty garden where no flower dared to bloom.
I must confess I questioned my reaction to this innocent children’s nursery rhyme many times. I was confused and didn’t know why I felt the way I did about this simple song and why it felt like such a big deal to me; especially because my childhood friends and classmates couldn’t understand why I would turn away from them when they would begin to sing the song that began… Mary Mary.
I also recall giving myself kind of a pep talk that this was just a song about someone other than myself named Mary! But, no matter what I did or how I tried to convince myself this little song did not matter to me, it still didn’t change the way the rhyme made me feel about how other people might think of me!
How you may be wondering did a five year old understand, especially back in the late 1950’s, what the word contrary meant – decades before computers or Google were invented, and vocabulary words especially one’s like contrary were yet to be taught to a kindergartener.
Although I may have not been a member of Mensa, I could understand intuitively what the definition of what most words meant psychically. But of course back then I had to keep those thoughts to myself. Heck, I don’t even believe I had ever heard anyone called or defined as a psychic.
All I knew was the feelings and images I received from certain songs, words, and expressions. I could sense goodness, bright happy colors, and flowers, but this song turned my vibrant imagination into a dark black and white melancholy image.
Today’s generation may explain it as it changed my normal positive disposition into a negative one.
The first impression I had of my name Mary, before hearing the children’s rhyme, was one of a positive and loving mental imprint. I was named after my paternal grandmother Mary who passed away when I was just two years old. She was a woman everyone said was a joy to be around and was the least argumentative person they had ever met. I was honored to be her namesake.
Intuitively, I understood I didn’t want any other Mary to mar the precious flowery memory I had of my grandmother, as well as to protect my own imagine on how others saw me, even if they were unaware of their negative actions or words.
I believe we all have a responsibility in this life that extends way beyond on how our garden grows, (our gardens are the root to how our energy and our auras are contained within us), but we should undeniably share in the responsibility of our neighbors gardens as soulful human beings.
So, my dear fellow human being and garden growers of our spiritual domains, don’t allow anyone to mar your disposition or the disposition of others. Become your best lawn-care expert of your soul!
And as we enter this beautiful month of May – a month most are reminded to seed their lawns with fresh grass seed, and a month we look forward to planting tulip bulbs and rose bushes in our gardens and happily anticipate their first blooms. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey of each planting. Enjoy each day, each sunrise and sunset.
And remember every word and action we think, do, or say to another human being can be equated to every flower seed we plant with the hope of a flourishing, wondrously beautiful garden come June!
I hope that before anyone amusingly sends a message to anyone today or in the future; whether they be verbal or non-verbal –seen or unseen – they put themselves in the position of the recipient of your words. Don’t just care about the way your garden turns out in the upcoming months. Truly and genuinely be concerned about our neighbor’s gardens as well as their feelings.
We are put on this earth, this good earth, to help not just our planet flourish with clean air and healthy living, but we are here to spread the seed of goodwill to whomever we encounter.
And, we are all responsible for our personal garden –our personal universe. It is the universe we’ve created that defines us and all those we presently love – as well as those we are yet to love.
And foremost, listen to your intuition and allow it to guide you. Allow your instincts to tell you what feels wrong and what feels right. Follow the rhythms of nature. Listen to the birds singing as well as watching them fly away when thunder and dark clouds are closing in.
Notice and be aware of how nature responds to a positive atmosphere as well as a negative one. We can fly like a bird into the wind of positive forces and look for cover when we feel a negative force brewing.
A validating note I’d like to add…
By the time I was in high school and in English class I was happy to learn upon researching nursery rhymes as a homework assignment, the discernment of my feelings with regard to Mary Mary quite contrary.
I learned the real reason why I felt the way I did back in kindergarten. There was a dark side of the nursery rhyme I was feeling as a young child. The rhyme was actually written with regard to Mary of Tudor, King Henry VIII’s daughter. Queen Mary or “Bloody Mary” as she was called was quite contrary as the nursery rhyme says and sent almost 300 people to their death during a five year reign.
But, the most important lesson of this story is to please listen to your intuition no matter what your age, height, or shoe size!
Spread joy to the world this wondrous May. And by the time the month of June comes rolling on in, I may be the one asking you….
“How did your garden grow this past May? With silver bells and cockle shells! As well as with faith, hope, and love of mankind!”
Mary Occhino is a world-renowned psychic-intuitive, author of four books and more in the works as well as a radio host of several shows with her newest being Intuitive Intervention. Contact – Website – Facebook – Facebook2 – LinkedIn – Twitter – Intuitive Intervention Radio Show
Photo Credit – foto76